Review: Hexagonal Club isn't a real nightclub, just the name given by Paris-based Pont Neuf to their compilations showcasing fresh electronic grooves from up-and-coming French artists (France being known colloquially as 'l'Hexagone', you see). And what a compilation Volume 2 is: few things in life get this writer as excited as a collection of quality deep house jams from people you've never heard of, and this album ticks that particular box nicely! The over-riding influence is deep house from the Heard/Trent/Damier school but there's room too for everything from the Italo/prog stylings of Fasme's 'Turbo Blaster' to the left coast-ish bump of THEOS's 'Wanna Go Out'. Get 'em while they're chaud, people!
Review: Emerging out of the clouds of live and instrumental deep house, Tour-Maubourg first appeared on the scene with a debut record for Parisian label Pont Neuf Records before making connections with FHUO, Salin Records and Happiness Theory. Returning to Pont Neuf for the release of his debut album, Paradis Artificiels, the artist puts paid to the Trax article which once wrote of TM: ''one of the most promising producers of the French house scene''. Referencing a Baudelaire poem for its title, the album flexes between new age ambience, acid and Chicago house inspirations in tracks like "Le Vol. Du Corbeau" while diving deep into watery percussion, solo jazz brass and skittering drums in "Saint The A La Menthe". WIth stronger ties to functional deep house in "Diffraction Rythmique", there's a smokey haze of hip hop instrumentality and dub to be found in tracks like "Les Mots" too. A record that would be attractive to fans of SUED.
Review: Following up some great releases by the likes of Alva, Cosmonection and KX9000, the Parisian Pont Neuf crew return to form with this great new one by Tour-Maubourg - the alias of one Pierre d'Estienne d'Orves. Following up releases on Fina, Groovance and FHUO, d'Orves serves up some wicked jams on the Solitude Collective EP: featuring deeply hypnotic house (on a strongly percussive tip) that's reminiscent of hometown hero DJ Gregory on "Artifice", some dusted down and jazzed-up sounds of his fair city on sublime cuts like the title track or "Albatros" or the sexy and emotive late night deepness on the wonderful closer "1984".
Review: Pont Neuf serve up yet more of the Parisian underground's finest sounds, with their third installment in the Habemus Paname series. Beginning with KX9000's undeniably French Touch influenced tribute "Requiem Pour Un Boogie", the zeitgeist is recaptured again on Tour-Maubourg's "Anyway You Want" which brings the funk (and the mandatory use of filter sweeps) on this emotive and soulful jam. Hot duo Alva, who served up one of 2017's standout releases with their French Kicks EP, return with more sexy late night deepness on "Louxor Funk" which calls to mind the early sounds of local hero D'Julz. Elsewhere, Cosmonection turn up the heat on "Dust In Space" which is sure to pack the dancefloor with its razor sharp Juno bassline, cosy pads and swing fuelled rhythm and, by contrast, label staple Taos delivers a nice cosmic downbeat moment to chill to in conclusion.